Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top of the class. Films 2014.

  1. Boyhood
  2. Under the Skin
  3. Two Nights, One Day
  4. Maps to the Stars
  5. Mommy
  6. Nightcrawler
  7. The Wind Rises
  8. American Hustle
  9. Nymphomaniac Part I and II
  10. Calvary
Honourable mentions: Gone Girl, Ida, Inside Llweyn Davis, The Past 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10 moments to cherish...cinema 2014

  1. The bizarreness of Under the Skin. Can we please have more films like this please?
  2. The scene where Chiwetel Ejiofer begins to feel empowered through song in 12 Years a Slave.
  3. Amy Adams. Giving lovable support in Her, being unexpected in American Hustle and finding her voice in Big Eyes.
  4. The earthquake in The Wind Rises.
  5. The twisted humour in Nightcrawler and Maps to the Stars. I'm never moving to LA. 
  6. Paddington. A technical wonder with the perfect voice provided by Ben Whishaw. 
  7. The bread making scene with Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton in Pride. Moving. 
  8. Five Hundred Miles in Inside Llewyn Davis.
  9. The Lego Movie not being awful. Everything is awesome.
  10. Rewatching The Great Beauty. One of the best films ever made. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top of the class. Direction 2014.

  1. Richard Linktaker for Boyhood
  2. Jonathan Glazer for Under the Skin
  3. Xavier Dolan for Mommy
  4. Hayao Miyazaki for The Wind Rises
  5. David Cronenberg for Maps to the Stars
  6. Lars von Trier for Nymphomaniac Part I and II
  7. Dardenne brothers for Two Nights, One Day
  8. Pawel Awlikowski for Ida
  9. Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner
  10. John Michael McDonagh for Calvary
Honourable mentions: Coen brothers for Inside Llewyn Davis, Asghar Farhadi for The Past, David Fincher for Gone Girl, David O. Russell for American Hustle

Monday, December 29, 2014

10 thoughts on...Unbroken

  1. This feels very much like a Clint Eastwood film thanks to its promotion of religion and family, and the unsubtle (failed?) attempts at not appearing ignorant. That's a bit disappointing from someone like Angelina Jolie.
  2. Jack O'Connell is an incredible leading man, his performance is the reason I was entertained despite a very clumsy structure. And I wish I saw '71.
  3. I can't believe this script was written by the Coen Brothers and Richard LaGravenese, there is very little to commend it. Why make a film about this man other than he is an Olympic athlete that survived capture in Japan? There needs to something more to make this story interesting. And they need better dialogue.
  4. Domhnall Gleeson is always watchable. And he's had such a terrific year with Frank, Calvary and being cast in the upcoming Star Wars.
  5. Anyone that enjoyed this film should watch The Railway Man. It isn't a great film but it is a more interesting approach to a type of war film that is too common in the cinema. 
  6. I usually love the music of Alexandre Desplate (The Grand Budapest Hotel - swoon!) but here it feels intrusive. I blame Jolie, of course.
  7. I can see why Oscar would give this film multiple nominations. But there are better films out there. 
  8. I feel like I could survive on a life raft now. This film makes it look easy. And am more impressed with Ang Lee for making Life of Pi so engaging for audiences, rather than a bit dull here.
  9. Garret Hedlund is very attractive.
  10. Despite the negative comments above, I was happy to send 90-120 minutes watching this uninspired telling of a important(!) story.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kiss.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top of the class. Performances 2014.

  1. Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
  2. Julianne Moore in Maps to the Stars
  3. Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Amy Adams in American Hustle
  5. Brendan Gleeson in Calvary
  6. Rosamond Pike in Gone Girl
  7. Michael Keaton in Birdman
  8. Scarlett Johnason in Her
  9. Chiwetel Ejiofer in 12 Years a Slave
  10. Uma Thurman in Nymphomaniac
Honourable mentions: Patricia Arquette in Boyhood, Ethan Hawke in Boyhood, Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis, Joaquin Pheonix in Her, Tahar Rahim in The Past, Emma Stone in Birdman

Saturday, December 27, 2014

10 thoughts on...Big Eyes

  1. There is very little here to identify this as a 'Tim Burton film'. I would have liked more of his signature style...
  2. ...but I have to say that it is a relief to see a film that isn't afraid to have colour. There's no gloomy filter here. Hollywood please take note!
  3. I could never say a bad word against Amy Adams and she does a great job in a role that doesn't require too much of her talent. She is always believable and towards the end her gradual empowerment is a joy to watch. 
  4. Men, particularly the type played by Christoph Waltz, are terrible. But Waltz is great to watch. 
  5. Margaret Keane's work is pretty ugly. (I agree with Terrence Stamp.)
  6. Danny Huston has a great voice.
  7. That scene where Adams and Waltz return to the Italian restaurant following their success is one of my favourite of the year...
  8. ...it's a shame the script isn't as darkly disturbing and comic as this. And a structure. The script is a bit clumsy.
  9. Biopics are not easy to do well.
  10. Perhaps it is a good thing that the film has very few Oscar prospects, so it can be discovered and celebrated as a misfire treat a la Big Fish

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top of the class. Theatre 2014.

  1. Mr Burns (Almeida Theatre)
  2. A View From The Bridge (Young Vic)
  3. My Night With Reg (Donmar Warehouse)
  4. Good People (Hampstead Theatre)
  5. American Psycho (Almeida Theatre)
  6. Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse)
  7. King Charles III (Almeida Theatre)
  8. The Silver Tassie (National Theatre)
  9. Oh What A Lovely War! (Stratford Royal East)
  10. Teh Internet Is Serious Business (Royal Court)
Honourable mentions: City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre), The Weir (Donmar Warehouse)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top of the class. Theatre performances 2014.

  1. Imelda Staunton in Good People (Hampstead Theatre)
  2. Mark Strong in A View From The Bridge (Young Vic)
  3. Nicola Walker in A View From The Bridge (Young Vic)
  4. Fiona Shaw in The Testament of Mary (Barbican)
  5. Mickel Murfi in Ballyturk (National Theatre)
  6. Vanessa Kirby in A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic)
  7. Cillian Murphy in Ballyturk (National Theatre)
  8. Leslie Sharp in A Taste of Honey (National Theatre)
  9. Tim Pigott-Smith in King Charles III (Young Vic)
  10. Billie Piper in Great Britain (National Theatre)
Honourable mention: Natalie Mandoza in Here Lies Love (National Theatre)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014

10 thoughts on...Birdman

  1. This is not the type of film I would have expected Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to make. 
  2. What an incredible cast. Truly. They all seem to have had their roles tailored to their strengths yet revealing more depth. Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone particularly.
  3. I always want to see more of Lindsay Duncan.
  4. This is very quotable.
  5. Sadly I don't think there is enough resonance for the film to be a considered a masterpiece, but it's so entertaining that I won't begrudge it when it does win some major awards.
  6. I need to rewatch Synecdoche, New York.
  7. It's much harder to celebrate ambition when it isn't highly exuberant and emotional, as many of the films that this reminds me of are.
  8. The music is incredible. Both the sweeping romance and the jazz.
  9. Emmanuel Lubezki is the guy to have on your crew if you want the camera to do dizzyingly spectacular movements.
  10. This is a fairly accurate representation of theatre life.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Pause.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

And the nominees are...Golden Globes 2015

Film - Drama
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Interstellar
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken
Upset: Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, A Most Violent Year, Selma, Whiplash

Film - Comedy/Musical
Begin Again
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
Maps to the Stars 
Upset: Annie, Big Eyes, Love is Strange

Director
David Fincher for Gone Girl
Alejandfro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
Richard Linktaker for Boyhood
Rob Marshall for Into the Woods
Christopher Nolan for Interstellar
Upset: JC Chandor for A Most Violent Yearm Angelina Jolie for Unbroken

Actor - Drama
Steve Carrell for Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game
David Oyelowo for Selma
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner
Upset: Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler

Actress - Drama
Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night
Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl
Hilary Swank for The Homesman
Reese Witherspoon for Wild
Upset: Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything

Actor - Comedy/Musical
Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton for Birdman
Bill Murray for St. Vincent

Mark Ruffalo for Begin Again
Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes
Upset: James Corden in Into the Woods, Joaquin Pheonix for Inherent Vice

Actress - Comedy/Musical 
Amy Adams for Big Eyes
Emily Blunt for Into the Woods
Angelina Jolie for Malificent
Keira Knightly for Begin Again
Julianne Moore for Maps to the Stars

Supporting Actor
Ethan Hawke for Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher
Edward Norton for Birdman
Chris Pine for Into the Woods
JK Simmons for Whiplash
Upset: Alfred Molina for Love is Strange

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightly for The Imitation Game
Emma Stone for Birdman
Meryl Streep for Into the Woods
Upset: Laura Dern for Wild, Anna Kendrick for Into the Woods

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Pause.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Monday, December 01, 2014

An irresistible question.

"What if I never meet him? What if this man is my destiny?"

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Top of the class. Performances directed by Mike Nichols.

It is always sad to hear that a filmmaker who you admire has passed away, but it seems particularly sad of Mike Nichols who would be the first director mentioned when discussing the successful adaptation of narratives revolving around intricate relationships. No longer. On a personal note, it would be impossible not to be a fan of his work because of the stories he told - usually about outsiders with strong female characters and outstanding performances. Hence why I'm choosing to say farewell Nichols with a celebration of some of those incredible performances. To make the task easier I've restricted myself to cinema performances, but still there is a wealth of actors to highlight - and here are ten. I should also add that I haven't seen Carnal Knowledge or Heartburn.

10. Anne Bancroft in The Graduate
9. Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl
8. Nathan Lane in The Birdcage
7. Clive Owen in Closer
6. Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
5. Robin Williams in The Birdcage
4. Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
3. Julia Roberts in Closer
2. Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
1. Meryl Streep in Silkwood

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pause.

The second series of The Fall may not be as impressive as the first but it continues to haunt. And Gillian Anderson is incredible.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gratuitious male lusting.

Let me first say that Ida is a terrific film. And now the focus of this post: Dawid Ogrodnik. A beautiful man on screen. Perfect casting in this part.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pause.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

10 thoughts on Paddington

  1. The animation is incredible. And flawless. Kudos to Framestore.
  2. The cast is wonderful (and impressively starry!). But it's Ben Whishaw's voice that makes drives this tale into your heart.
  3. Nick Urata's score is perfect.
  4. I wish Nicole Kidman's costumes were more outlandish. And I'm very happy to see her enjoying herself on screen.
  5. I want to visit Peru. 
  6. The search for a home is difficult.
  7. The criticism of Britain's stance on and attitude towards immigration is not subtle. And, of course, rather simplified.
  8. I am really grateful we didn't see any dead bears in the film. It was a close call at the beginning.
  9. Sally Hawkins would be an irritating mother. But is delightful playing one on screen.
  10. I want to give a lonely bear voiced by Ben Whishaw a home.

Friday, November 28, 2014

My favourite shot...Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer

I know I should be more in awe of that Millennium Falcon sequence but I love the droids. So much. And only hope the above one doesn't overshadow C3PO and R2D2.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Smile.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Subtitled wisdom.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Smile.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kiss.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Smile.

Sunday, August 17, 2014